Entering Santa Croce, you will probably wonder what the Statue of Liberty is doing there …
Pio Fedi was commissioned to design and build a solemn funeral monument to celebrate the decennial of the death of the playwright Giovanni Battista Niccolini.
In 1870 Fedi began designing the statue, in 1871 he completed a sketch in plaster, it will be completed in 1877 but only in 1883 will be finally brought and inaugurated in the Basilica of Santa Croce.
Here we can admire the imposing female figure with a crown of eight rays, the right arm raised and a broken chain in the hand, the left arm, lowered, culminates with a wreath of laurels, symbol of poetry.
Between the Freedom of the Poetry of Fedi, enclosed in a niche, and the statue of liberty by Auguste Bartholdi, which welcomes those who arrive in New York, there are considerable similarities and perhaps not for nothing.
It seems that Bartholdi was in Florence just in the period when Pio Fedi made the draft in plaster. It is well known that Bartholdi was in Italy for the sake of the Italian Risorgimento, eager to identify in the cultural environment of the period and it is probable that he saw the cast and that it could be inspired him and his famous work.
In New York, in fact, the Lady Liberty, as the Americans call it, wears a seven-spoke crown, breaks the chain with the foot, with the right hand holding a torch and in the left holds the declaration of independence of the United States.
It can not be a coincidence, no?!